Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poe Fridays (on Saturday)

This week, we read the poem An Enigma - it's short, so here is the full text:

"Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce,
"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at once
As easily as through a Naples bonnet-
Trash of all trash!- how can a lady don it?
Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff-
Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff
Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it."
And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant
Bubbles- ephemeral and so transparent-
But this is, now- you may depend upon it-
Stable, opaque, immortal- all by dint
Of the dear names that he concealed within 't.

So, basically, most poems are fluff. Interesting that he wrote a fluff poem to explain this. The most interesting thing about the poem is that it is an riddle poem - if you take the first letter of the first line, the second letter of the second line, etc, you spell the name Sarah Anna Lewis. Lewis was an amateur poet whose husband paid Poe $100 to review her work. I'm not sure it's exactly a compliment to her work that he chose to immortalize her name in this PARTICULAR poem....

Since next week's Poe Friday falls on a holiday weekend, Kristen has chosen a longer story, The Gold Bug, and given us two weeks to read it - we will be back to discuss on July 11. Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.

1 comment:

Kristen M. said...

This was a weird one. I wonder if the woman was offended or flattered? Some of both?